Saturday, September 25, 2010

2009-10 Playoff National Treasures Century Materials NBA Tags Signatures #155 Clyde Drexler

Today's card, the 2009-10 Playoff National Treasures Century Materials NBA Tags Signatures featuring Clyde Drexler, fascinates me. The card itself doesn't fascinate me. I'm curious about the person who collects this type of card. And I'm especially curious what the Cougar fans who visit this blog but don't necessarily collect cards think.

For those Cougar fans, here's a little card collecting history. With the card industry struggling, the manufacturers needed to come up with something that would not only increase sales to current collectors, but would also draw in new collectors. They came up with the jersey card that featured a small piece of the player's uniform in the card.

Some say this saved the industry. I don't know enough about the industry to say that, but I can see how it could pull in new collectors.

Prior to this, the only way to get a player worn jersey was to pay hundreds, perhaps thousands, for a full jersey. Even then, much of the time, you may not be 100% confident of the authenticity of the uniform. Often, it was a matter of how much you trusted the dealer and who the dealer's supplier is. While not as cool as a full player worn jersey, the average collector could get a jersey card at a much more reasonable price.

But as with most good ideas, there are imitators, some good, some bad, and overuse of the idea. Soon every manufacturer and set had jersey cards. Event worn jerseys (including events specifically designed just to have multiple jerseys worn to supply cards) started being used instead of just game worn jerseys. That definitely doesn't have the same appeal.

With the flood of jersey cards, collectors also became more picky. A one inch square of solid white (or other color) material stopped exciting people. Collectors wanted material with multiple colors. I guess that makes the card more attractive. Doesn't add much for me.

Then it went to the next level with patches. Collectors wanted a piece of the jersey number, name plate, etc. The highest demand then came for items like part of the team logo or the NFL/NBA logo. I can see the appeal of those cards although they've also been among the items most often faked by fraudulent eBay sellers.

Then you have items like today's card. What is the appeal of a laundry tag on a uniform? Do I care that the uniform should be washed on low?

OK. The cards are 1 of 1 so no other person in the world will have the card. That's pretty cool, but it would be better to have a one of a kind that people wanted because it looks good instead of just because there is only one.

So what do you think? If you are one of the people who likes this type of card (to each their own), it's on eBay right now for about $400.

Monday, September 20, 2010

2010 Sweet Spot Sweet Swatches #SSW22 Donnie Avery

Since we've spent so much time looking at cards from the past, it's time to catch up on some of the newer cards coming out.

Today's card is the 2010 Sweet Spot Sweet Swatches #SSW22 featuring Donnie Avery. Donnie may be hurt but hopefully we'll get some more nice cards for him this season.

Since Upper Deck lost its NFL license and received a license to do college cards, we're lucky enough to see more cards of Avery in his college uniform. I love that.

But then you have the memorabilia portion of the card. I find that part extremely disappointing. First of all, I generally don't like odd cut outs and the "SS" cut out for Sweet Swatch looks odd. To make it worse, the swatch is blue. I assume that is from a Rams uniform. If you have a card featuring a player in a college uniform listing the college team, and not a pro team, the swatch should be from a college uniform.

But most cards featuring a Cougar in his Houston uniform gets a thumbs up for me.

Friday, September 3, 2010

We did it!

Wow! I can't believe we did it. I don't know that I've ever posted more than 3 times in one week. But 56 consecutive days are done.

What's next?

I'll be cutting back on posting, hopefully posting a couple of days a week. I need to catch up on the checklists and other background blog work.

More important: Football season is starting. Time to watch some games; talk some football; see new achievements instead of just looking back at the past.


1954 Red Sox Team Issue #12 Bill Henry

Today's card is the 1954 Red Sox Team Issue #12 featuring Bill Henry. This is the first card in any sport showing a Cougar.

The last post of the countdown and I don't have an image for you. How anti-climactic. But here's a description so you can keep your eye out for it...

The cards are 6 1/2" x 9" and feature a photograph and a facsimile autograph. They are unnumbered and blank backed. Sounds more like just a photograph than a card, but I'd love to have one since it is the first Cougar card.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

1955 49ers Team Issue #10 Paul Carr

Paul Carr played linebacker for the University of Houston from 1951 to 1953. He was co-captain of the 1953 team.

Carr was a teammate of Bobby Clatterbuck and shared many of the same firsts such as the first bowl game and victory and first ranking.

He was named All American Honorable Mention in 1951 and 1952 as well as 1st Team All Gulf Coast Conference in 1951 and 1st Team Missouri Valley All Conference in 1952.

Paul was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 7th round of the 1954 NFL Draft. He played 3 seasons from 1995 to 1957 for the 49ers.

Today's card is the 1955 49ers Team Issue #10, another sharp team issue set measuring 4 1/4" x 6 1/4". As usual, I love the 1950s posed photograph. Did they tell players not to look at the camera? Maybe they did that to make it look more like an action shot, but if that's the case, he really shouldn't be smiling.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

1956 Giants Team Issue #6 Bobby Clatterbuck

Bobby Clatterbuck played quarterback at the University of Houston from 1951 to 1953.

Some of his statistics are still in the UH record books:

  • Tied for 1st in fewest interceptions thrown in a season (3 in 1953)

  • Tied for 9th for longest touchdown pass (84 yards to Vic Hampel against Detroit 9/28/51)

  • Led team in passing all 3 years (1951 966 yards, 1952 736 yards, 1953 276 yards).

  • Led team in total yards in 1952 (702)

More important than his statistics are the many firsts involving Clatterbuck:

  • Played in the Cougars 1st bowl game, a 26-21 victory over Dayton in the 1952 Salad Bowl to cap the 1951 season.

  • Played on the Cougars first ranked team, #19 on 11/17/1952. UH dropped out of the polls the next week and finished the season unranked despite winning every game after that 1 week they were ranked and winning the Missouri Valley Conference.

  • First Cougar to play in the NFL (1954).

  • First Cougar on a major manufacturer card (1955 Bowman #141).

Bobby was selected by the New York Giants in the 27th round of the 1954 NFL Draft. He played professional football for 5 years for the Giants and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Today's card is the 1956 Giants Team Issue #6. These cards are 4 7/8" by 6 7/8". The front has a black and white photo of the player with a facsimile autograph. The back has a brief bio and lists career highlights.

These team issue cards are growing on me. I don't think they'd be a perfect fit for a traditional card collection. But because of their larger postcard or photograph size and photograph layout vs card layout, I think they would be great for framing and display purposes.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I'm going to keep it short today partly because I have no pictures again.

There are only 3 cards to choose from for 1957, all team issue football card:
1) Rams Team Issue #26 featuring Jack Pardee
2) 49ers Team Issue #8 featuring Paul Carr
3) Giants Team Issue #7 featuring Bobby Clatterbuck

Pardee has been featured on this blog previously.

Carr and Clatterbuck will be featured soon with full write ups and card images.

Monday, August 30, 2010

1958-1960 Colts Team Issue #13 Harold (Hal) Lewis

Harold (Hal) Lewis play back for the University of Houston football team from 1956 to 1958. He was co-Captain of the 1958 Cougars along with Hogan Wharton and Don Brown (3 future professional football players).

He was an excellent punt returner. He is 4th (17.4 in 1956) and 7th (16.3 in 1958) in season punt return average at UH and 5th in career punt return average (14.1)

Lewis was named Missouri Valley All-Conference 1st Team fullback in 1957 when the Cougars won the conference.

Hal was selected by the Baltimore Colts in the 7th round of the 1959 NFL Draft. He played 3 years of professional football for the Baltimore Colts, Buffalo Bills, and Oakland Raiders.

Sorry no picture again today. I don't even have an example from this set to give you an idea of what it looks like.

Today's card is the 1958-1960 Colts Team Issue #13. The set is listed as 1958-60 because the cards were most likely released over all 3 years. Dates for the individual cards in this set have been difficult to determine.

You may notice that I'm using this card for 1958 even though Lewis didn't play for the Colts until 1959 and was still playing for UH in 1958. That makes it nearly impossible that this card was issued in 1958.

Unfortunately there aren't many other choices for 1958 cards. I believe there is a Doyusha Japanese Baseball League card of Carlton Hanta issued that year.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

1959 Topps #46 Bill Henry

Bill Henry has been featured on this blog previously so I'm violating my goal of featuring players not shown before. Unfortunately there are only 2 players and 1 coach featured on cards in 1959 and all of them have been featured too.

Today's card is the 1959 Topps #46. Here's an interesting article on the 1959 set by someone who is much more of an expert than I am.

Looking at this card makes me wonder why someone would collect modern/current cards vs these vintage cards. The layout is much cleaner without all of the flash that in my opinion just distracts. It is a very solid posed photograph. Some modern sets like Stadium Club have nicer action photos, but many modern sets don't have better pictures than this one.

So it doesn't have chrome, refractors, foil, etc. Some people love these things, but I just think they're gimmicks. It doesn't have tons of variations that are identical except for the color of the border and the print run. It's not serial numbered, but if you're searching for a card in top quality condition like a new card is, they're probably as rare as most low numbered modern cards. But you also have the option of getting a more moderate condition card at a decent price which would be value suicide on a new card.

Finally if you REALLY want to search for a low print variation, you can look for the Topps card made for the Venezuelan market. These cards are very rare and next to impossible to find in a high quality condition.

To me, the biggest advantage of modern cards is we've seen the guys play. I never saw Billy Henry play, but someone like Michael Bourn I can see play every day. It's harder to develop an attachment to a player you've never seen play, but collectors do it every day. I'd bet very few collectors saw Babe Ruth play, but he still has new followers and collectors all the time.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

1960 Fleer #32 Don Flynn

Don Flynn played football at the University of Houston from 1954 to 1956. He was quarterback and co-captain of the 1956 team that went 7-2-1 winning the Missouri Valley Conference in Bill Meek's last year as coach.

In 1956, Flynn led the team in rushing (412 yards), passing (464 yards), scoring (39 points). That performance earned being named to the 1st Team Missouri Valley All Conference team.

After his college career, Don played for the Dallas Texans and New York Titans. He also played in the Canadian Football League.

Today's card is the 1960 Fleer #32. Another great vintage set. I love the simple, but colorful, layout. That is also a sharp picture of Flynn.

The back is basic, but a very solid effort. One of my favorite comments is that Flynn is "one of the all-time greats at the University of Houston and probably the strongest quarterback they ever had." No offense to any of the great players before him, but you have to keep in mind that UH had only played football for 13 years when this card was released. Being an "all-time great" at this point in UH history is like being on the All-Decade team. Not a small feat, but not quite the same compliment compared to a program with 50 years of history.

Friday, August 27, 2010

1961 Nu-Card #155 Ken Bolin and #169 Charlie Rieves

Another two for one day! Two backs who played together for two years.

Ken Bolin was a back at the University of Houston from 1959 to 1961. He was co-captain of the 1961 team that went 5-4-1. Bolin had two 80 yard runs for touchdowns in the 1961 season. 80 yards ties for 7th longest run from scrimmage in UH history.

Other achievements:
6th career kickoff return average (24.9)
Leading rusher in 1960 (542 yards) and 1961 (356 yards)
Leader in kick returns in 1960 and 1961
Led the team in interceptions in 1961 with 4

Bolin was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 22nd round of the 1962 AFL Draft.

Charlie Rieves was another Cougar back from 1959 to 1960. He played 4 years of professional football for the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers.

Some of Rieves' UH accomplishments:
Leading rusher in 1959 (347 yards)
Tied for scoring leader in 1959 (18 points)
Led the team in scoring in 1960 (38 points)

Today's cards are from the 1961 Nu-Card set. #155 features Ken Bolin and #169 features Charlie Rieves. This set may be my all time favorite football card set.

1) The set focuses on college instead of pros. Although I enjoy both, I prefer college football
2) The pennant on the front epitomizes vintage college football to me
3) The cartoon football field and players make a great background
4) The pictures

Just look at these pictures! Let's start with Bolin. Does he look scared, in pain, or psychotic? And then there is Rieves' picture. He looks cartoonishly mad. The picture reminds me of a very angry Curly from the 3 Stooges.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

1962 Post Cereal #169 Jack Pardee

While Jack Pardee didn't play football at the University of Houston, he was the head coach from 1987 to 1989. He took over a 1-10 run based Veer team and implemented the pass based Run and Shoot offense that eventually stunned college football.

The transition was difficult as the Cougars went 4-6-1 in Pardee's first year. The biggest win was a 60-40 victory over the University of Texas. While the 60 points might lead you to think that the Run & Shoot was finally clicking, the defense was responsible for many of the points. UH ran 4 interceptions back for touchdowns which ties for the NCAA record. Johnny Jackson ran back 3 which is still an NCAA record.

In 1988, UH under Pardee improved to 9-3 and played in a bowl game. The team ranked as high as #14, finishing the season #18.

Then came 1989 and the Cougars had possibly the greatest offense in NCAA history. They set many records that still stand including most yards in a game (1021 vs SMU on 10/21/89), most yards gained per game (624.9), most passing yards per game (511.3), and most TD passes per game (5.0). The team averaged 53.5 points per game which is a little below the 1944 Army record of 56 points per game. And Andre Ware won the Heisman Trophy. The team was ranked as high as #8 and finished the season at #14 with a 9-2 record.

Today's card is the 1962 Post Cereal #169. These cards were found on the back panel of different Post Cereal boxes so you had to cut them out yourself. It also means the backs just display plain cardboard, the inside of the cereal box.

The front features a photo, a description, the Post logo, and the card number. I love the picture on this one. Another classic vintage card pose. I could do without the Texas A&M reference in the description, but overall a nice looking card, especially for the back of a cereal box.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1963 Colts Team Issue #3 Jim Colvin and #5 Wiley Feagin

We have a special two for one today.

Player 1, Jim Colvin. Jim played on both the defensive and offensive lines for the University of Houston from 1957 to 1959. He was named first team All-Conference in the Missouri Valley Conference in 1959.

Colvin was selected by the Baltimore Colts in the 8th round of the 1960 NFL Draft. He played 8 years of professional football for the Colts, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Giants.

Player 2, Wiley Feagin. Wiley was a guard for the Cougars from 1958 to 1960. Those lines in 1958 and 1959 must have been pretty good with 2 future professionals. He was captain of the 1960 team, UH's first year as an independent.

Feagin played 3 seasons of professional football for the Baltimore Colts and Washington redskins

Today's cards are from the 1963 Colts Team Issue set. Sorry that I don't have an image of these. Another case of fewer players to choose from without repeating a player and uncommon cards.

The "cards" are 7 7/8" x 10 1/4" on glossy heavy paper stock. They feature a black and white photo on the front along with the player's team, position, height, weight, and college. The backs are blank. The cards are not numbered, but are generally listed by number in alphabetical order.

This IS NOT Jim Colvin or Wiley Feagin. It is Tony Lorick who did not play for the Cougars. It is just an example from this card set.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

1964 Topps #114 Curley Johnson

Curley Johnson played football at the University of Houston from 1954 to 1956. 1956 was Coach Bill Meek's last year, and the Cougars won the Missouri Valley Conference with a 7-2-1 record. The Coogs won 4 MVC titles in the 1950s.

As many players had to be in the past, Johnson played end, half back, and kicker. He was UH's leading rusher in 1955 with 469 yards.

He was named 1st Team All-Conference and Conference Back of the Year in 1955.

After his collegiate career, Curley was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 7th round of the 1957 NFL Draft. He played 10 years of professional football for the Dallas Texans, New York Titans, New York Giants, and New York Jets.

Today's card is the 1964 Topps #114. This card is a great example of why I love old school cards. Simple design. Bright colors. Just beautiful. The bright yellow background makes the picture pop. The blue stars for the border provides some flair. The black and white box with the name and team provides an anchor for it all.

I'm not sure where the uniform comes from. The Jets didn't wear red. Neither did the Titans. The Texans did wear red. Would a card feature a picture from 4 years prior when Curley played for the Texans? The Texans were red and gold. This looks red and white although there may be some gold trim around the number. Maybe it's just a random practice uniform.

The pose is great too. Johnson's carrying the ball, but with his fist clenched, it looks like he's ready to punch anyone who tries to tackle him.

The back is a nice blue, black, and white combination with a description of his abilities and his career.

Monday, August 23, 2010

1965 Coke Caps Vikings (King Size Coke Variation) #C4 Errol Linden

Errol Linden played end for the University of Houston football team from 1959 to 1960. He led the team in receptions in 1960 with 12. Yes, 12 for the season led the team. In UH's current offense, 12 receptions might not even lead the team in one game.

After his Cougar career, Linden was selected by the Detroit Lions in the 10th round of the 1961 NFL Draft and by the Houston Oilers in the 29th round of the 1961 AFL Draft. He played 10 seasons of professional football for the Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints.

Today's item is another oddball, the 1965 Coke Caps Vikings #C4. The top of the cap has the Coke logo and a football graphic. The inside of the cap has a headshot of Errol and lists his name and team. Besides the base Coke cap, there are also Tab, Fanta, King Size Coke, and Sprite variations. The King Size Coke cap is pictured below.

I've never collected bottle caps, but I know a lot of people do. I imagine condition can be a challenge for bottle cap collectors. These aren't twist tops so you have to use a bottle opener. Opening the bottle could bend the top or sides dramatically or it could scratch up the top, ruining the images.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

1966 Philadelphia #75 Pat Studstill

Pat Studstill was a wide receiver at the University of Houston from 1958 to 1959. The 1959 was Missouri Valley Conference co-champion in 1959.

Studstill played 11 years of professional football for the Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Rams, and New England Patriots. In the pros he played wide receiver and punter. One of the things he is most famous for is that he was the last pro player to not use a facemask.

Today's card is the 1966 Philadelphia #75. Philadelphia brand was a major card manufacturer at the time who had a license with the NFL while Topps had an AFL license.

While Philadelphia cards had more simple designs than modern cards, they still looked very different from Topps cards. To me, Philadelphia cards looked more realistic and less artistic/cartoonish than Topps cards.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

1967 Williams Portraits #112 Joe Bob Isbell

Joe Bob Isbell was an offensive guard who played at the University of Houston from 1959 to 1961. He was co-captain of the 1961 team along with Ken Bolin and Bill Brown in Hal Lahar's last year as head coach.

After his college career, Isbell was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 20th round of the 1962 AFL Draft. He played five years of professional football for the Dallas Cowboys and the Cleveland Browns.

Sorry, no image again today. As I go farther back, I have fewer players to choose from (especially if I'm sticking to the rule of not using players already featured), fewer card options in general, and fewer images of some of the less mainstream cards.

Isbell was featured on very few cards, none from major card manufacturers. This card may be his most mainstream.

I've seen images of some of the other cards in this set and they look very nice. The "cards" are 8" x 10" and feature charcoal portraits of the players. The front also includes the player's name and position under the portrait. The backs are blank. The cards are quite elegant and look suitable for framing especially since they are 8x10.

Below is an example of the set. Again this is NOT Joe Bob Isbell. It is Bob Skoronski. I just wanted you to be able to see in general what the set looks like.

Friday, August 20, 2010

1968 Topps #42 Tom Beer

Today's player is another one of those great Cougar tight ends that made it to the pros, Tom Beer. He played at the University of Houston from 1965 to 1966.

After his college career, Beer was selected by the Denver Broncos in the 2nd round of the 1967 AFL Draft. He played six seasons of professional football for the Broncos and the New England/Boston Patriots.

After his pro career, he wrote the book Sunday's Fools: Stomped, Tromped, Kicked, and Chewed in the NFL which was published in 1974. This book is about his professional career and the bad teams he played for. Reading the reviews on Amazon, I had to order it. I can't wait to read it.

Today's card is the 1968 Topps #42. It is Beer's rookie card. This is another brightly colored card front. What I really love is the back of these cards. The green and white is so bold without being over the top and gaudy like today's cards. Sometimes simple is really a better design.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

1969 Eskimo Pie #15 and 1969 Chemtoy AFL Superballs #20 Dick Post

Dick Post was a running back at the University of Houston from 1964 to 1966. He was captain of that 1966 team that went 8-2.

He had a very solid career at UH, not only running the ball, but also receiving and returning kicks:
10th in career rushing yards (2219)
Led the team all 3 years in rushing yards (528 in 1964, 630 in 1965, 1061 in 1966)
Led the team in total offensive yards in 1964 (528)
Led the team in receptions in 1964 (12)
Led the team in kickoff returns in 1964
Led the team in scoring in 1964 (30 points)

In 1966, he was named All-American Honorable Mention and was the Houston Chronicle Player of the Year.

Post was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the 4th round of the 1967 AFL Draft. He played for the Chargers, Denver Broncos, and Houston Oilers. Although he only played in the NFL for 5 years, he was a 2 time Pro Bowler in 1967 and 1969.

We have a special bonus today, 2 items both oddballs.

First we have the Eskimo Pie #15. These were made for distribution for the Eskimo Pie ice cream product. This "card" is not really a card at all. It is actually stickers attached to a cardboard panel. Post shares the card with Matt Snell. It is unnumbered, but the set is listed alphabetically based on the last name of the player on the left.

The second item today is the 1969 Chemtoy AFL Superball #20. Yes, this is a high bouncing rubber ball with a paper in the middle of the ball. The front of the paper has a picture of the player and the back has the player name and team. Again, they are not numbered, but they are sequenced alphabetically. How cool is this?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

1970 Topps #86 Royce Berry

Royce Berry played linebacker at the University of Houston in 1965 and 1966 and then again in 1968.

Berry was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 7th round of the 1969 AFL Draft. He played for the Bengals from 1969 to 74 and for the Chicago Bears in 1976.

Back to the greatness of 1970s Topps football card. Today's card is the 1970 Topps #86. It is considered Berry's rookie card although there was a 1969 Bengals Tresler Comet card.

The front of this card is beautiful. I love the colors, the graphics and fonts. Best of all, I love the picture. He looks like a tough guy to me. Remember the character Nate Scarboro played by Michael Conrad from the original movie The Longest Yard? The old coach/player who used to play pro ball? I think they look very similar. Looks like a nice guy, but you wouldn't want to cross him.

But the star of this card is the back. The description of his career is pretty good with comments like that he was "one of the toughest linemen out of the college ranks in 1969." But the funniest part is the cartoon with the label "Royce was one of Houstons better players." What a brilliant analysis! First of all is the simplicity. He wasn't the fastest or strongest or led the team in tackles or anything more detailed like that. He was just one of the better players. But besides the simplicity, the comment is pretty obvious. On most teams, if a player makes it in the pros, he was probably one of the better players on the team. Usually the worst players on the team don't get drafted and play in the pros.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thank you

I'd like to thank all of the people who read any page on my blog. I enjoy writing it because I'm learning so much about the history of University of Houston athletics. I hope others are enjoying it too.

But I'd really like to thank those who have been posting comments lately, in particular Commish and SportsCardGirl for commenting multiple times. I've been posting off and on for over three years now, and I've had more comments in the last 3 weeks than I had in the last 3 years before that.

This blog has had over 26,000 visitors (although definitely not all unique). That shocks me. I didn't know if I would ever have 10 visits total. And I appreciate everyone who has visited. But you wonder who those readers are. Many come from google? Are they just showing up on my page and leaving because there is little interest in what they found? Are they just interested in the one page, never to return? I don't know.

But getting comments means that someone actually reviewed my post AND thought enough of it to respond. It's a little corny, but it really does mean alot. And it makes me think that I should do the same thing when I visit other blogs or personal websites. It keeps you going.

When I committed to counting down the years, posting at least once a day until football season started, I wasn't sure I could do it. I rarely posted more than a couple of times a week (and I may go back to that when the countdown is over). But I haven't missed a day. To tell the truth, the extra visits and comments help keep me on track.

1971 49ers Postcards #35 Mike Simpson

Mike Simpson played defensive back at the University of Houston from 1966 to 1968. In 1967 he tied for the team lead in inceptions with Johnny Peacock with 4.

He was also a punt returner who led the team in punt returns in 1968.

Simpson was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the 13th round of the AFL Draft. He played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1970 to 1973.

We'll continue our trend from yesterday of looking at something besides Topps cards. Today's card is the 1971 49ers Postcards #35. These black and white oversized cards were distributed by the 49ers. The backs are postcard style and feature career information and stats. Although this is listed as #35, the backs are actually unnumbered. The numbering generally used is based on the alphabetical order.

And despite what is pictured here, the cards did not come autographed.

But the pose on this card is hilarious. As the cards get older and the pictures are more staged, the poses and pictures often get funnier.

Monday, August 16, 2010

1972 NFLPA Wonderful World Stamps #2 Greg Brezina

Greg Brezina played linebacker for the University of Houston from 1965-67. He is 6th on the Cougar career tackles list with 350 and led the team in tackles in 1967 with 126.

Greg was named a Sports Extra All-American in 1967.

Several Brezina brothers played for the University of Houston. Bobby played from 1960-62 and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1963. Gus played from 1962-64 and was drafted by the Houston Oilers in 1965. Bernie played from 1962-64. Butch played from 1970-71. Steve played from 1970-72. Not only did the brothers play at UH, Bobby's son Robby also played from 1985-86. Here is a great article about the Brezina Boys.

Greg was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the 11th round of the NFL Draft. He played for 11 seasons in the NFL, all for the Falcons.

Today let's take a break from 1970s Topps. Today's card is the 1972 NFLPA Wonderful World Stamps #2. The stamps were to be glued into an album named The Wonderful World of Pro Football USA. So there's not much information on the card itself. You need the album to get the biography.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

1973 Topps #276 Gus Hollomon

Gus Hollomon played defensive back for the University of Houston football team from 1965-67. He led the Cougars in interceptions in 1965 (5) and tied for team lead with Tom Paciorek in 1966 (6).

In the Cougar record books, he is tied for 2nd in career interceptions (14).

Hollomon was selected by the Denver Broncos in the 4th round of the 1968 AFL Draft. He played 2 seasons for the Broncos and 3 seasons for the New York Jets.

Today's card is the 1973 Topps #276. I LOVE the '70s. Just look at that mustache. Burt Reynolds would be so proud.

This is really Hollomon's only major manufacturer card. His other cards are team issue and NFLPA Wonderful World Stamps.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

1974 Topps #34 Elmo Wright

The University of Houston has had some amazing wide receivers in its history. Some people can make arguments for other players, but to me there is no question that the greatest Cougar receiver is Elmo Wright. He is not only a great UH receiver, but I believe he is one of the greatest receivers in NCAA history.

Elmo played at UH from 1968-1970. The Houston Veer was an offensive juggernaut during that era. And while the Veer is generally associated with running the ball, Wright still put up some amazing stats. And despite UH's adoption of the Run and Shoot and Spread offenses, many of his receiving records still stand.

Although many of his NCAA have been recently broken, he still holds some:
Tied 1st season most 50+ TD receptions (8 in 1968)
1st season average yards per TD reception (56.1 in 1968) - What an amazing record. TD receptions of 87, 50, 75, 2, 80, 79, 13, 67, 61, 43, and 60. Those 2 and 13 yard TDs really brought that average down.
20th career TD receptions (34)
10th career yards per game (111.6)

Some of Wright's UH records:
1st career average per play (21.0)
1st career yards per reception (21.9)
1st career touchdown receptions (34)
Tied 1st career 200 yard receiving games (3)
10th in career receptions (153)
2nd in career receiving yards (3347)
2nd in career touchdowns (35)
10th in career all purpose yards (3482)
6th in career scoring (216)
1st season yards per reception (27.9 in 1968)
Tied 1st season 200 yard receiving games (2 in 1968)
4th (1275 in 1968) and 8th (1198) in season receiving yards
1st (27.9 in 1968), 8th (20.3 in 1969) and 10th (18.6 in 1970) in season yards per reception
Tied for 3rd (14 in 1969) and tied for 6th (11 in 1968) in season TD receptions
Tied for 7th in total TDs (14 in 1969)
2nd (262 vs Wyoming on 11/22/1969), 4th (249 vs Idaho on 11/16/68), and 5th (244 vs Cincinnati on 10/16/68) in game receiving yards
Tied for 5th in game scoring (24 points twice)

Wright led the Cougars in receptions all 3 years and led the team in scoring in 1969

Wright was an All-American Honorable Mention in 1968, 2nd Team in 1969, and Consensus 1st Team in 1970. He was also an Academic All-American in 1969.

On top of all that, he invented the end zone dance when he was a junior at UH.

Elmo was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1st round (#16) of the 1971 NFL Draft. He made the NFL Rookie team that year. He played 5 years in the league for the Chiefs, Houston Oilers, and New England Patriots. Unfortunately injuries limited his professional career.

Today's card is the 1974 Topps #34. It is considered Wright's rookie card although in 1972 he was featured on a Sunoco Stamp.

Another typical 70s Topps card. I love seeing former Cougars in red uniforms. If I can't get a card in a UH uniform, at least it can be close to UH colors. I like the goal post graphic as a border.

The back has a great cartoon and a caption that Wright plays the saxophone. There is also an odd football game with yards gained and a score. I wonder how the game was played.

Friday, August 13, 2010

1975-76 Topps #11 Dwight Davis

Dwight Davis played basketball for 3 seasons at the University of Houston from 1969-72 including the Sweet Sixteen teams of 1969-70 and 1970-71. As you can tell by his stats, he was a great all-around player. He is the the career UH top 10 for scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots average. To do that at a school with a basketball history as great as UH is an amazing accomplishment.

Some of his records:
7th career points (1741)
8th career scoring average (20.7)
5th career rebounds (961)
4th career rebounding average (11.4)
2nd career blocked shots (231)
5th career blocked shots average (2.8)
10th season scoring average (24.37 in 1971-72)
3rd (125 in 1970-71) and 6th (106 in 1971-72) in season blocked shots
3rd (4.3 in 1970-71) and 5th (3.9 in 1971-72) in season blocked shots average

Davis led team in scoring in 1970-71 and 1971-72, blocked shots in 1970-71 and 1971-72, and rebounding in 1970-71.

He was named Third Team All-American in 1972 and was inducted into the UH Hall of Honor in 2006.

Dwight was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1st round (#3) of the 1972 NBA Draft. He played 5 seasons in the NBA for the Cavs and the Golden State Warriors.

Today's card is the 1975 Topps #11. While not as 1970s terrific as yesterday's card featuring Dwight Jones, this is still a solid card. Decent picture. Great colors for the graphics. Funny basketball player graphics on the back.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

1976-77 Topps #33 Dwight Jones

Dwight Jones played basketball at the University of Houston for two seasons in 1971-72 and 1972-73. In his two years as a Cougar, he was a defensive force.

Some of his stats:
4th career rebounding average (13.7)
6th career blocked shots (155)
4th career blocked shots average (2.87)
9th career rebounds (380)
6th career rebounding average (14.1)
9th season rebounding average (13.3 in 1971-72)
Tied for 7th season blocked shots (97 in 1972-73)
7th season blocked shots average (3.6 in 1972-73)
2nd game blocked shots (14 vs Houston Baptist on 2/8/73)

Jones led the team in rebounding in both 1971-72 and 1972-73 and in blocked shots in 1972-73.

Amazingly he wasn't even named as an Honorable Mention All-American. He was inducted into the UH Hall of Honor in 2002.

Dwight was selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round (#9) of the 1973 NBA Draft. He played 10 seasons in the NBA for the Hawks, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, and LA Lakers.

He was a the leading scorer and rebounder on the 1972 US Olympic team. That team "won" the silver medal. They lost the finals to the Soviets in possibly the most controversial officiating in all of history. The entire team refused to accept their medals though. As painful as the UH-NC State game was, I think this game was even more heartbreaking. It was bad enough that the on court officials screwed over the US team, but also the off court basketball committee officials were involved. If you haven't seen the documentary :30 from Gold, I highly recommend it.

Today's card is the 1976 Topps #33. I don't know why everyone doesn't collect late '60s and '70s basketball card. Just look at this card. Love the afro. Love the mutton chops and goatee. Look at the necklace. Look at the awesome font. Look at the bright colors. Amazing.

Not only is the front of the card awesome, but the back is good too. Not only does it have his NBA stats, which you would expect, but it also includes his college stats. It even includes his freshman stats which aren't including in the UH media guide and records since freshmen weren't allowed to play varsity back then.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

1977 Cardinals Team Issue #11 Bob Giblin

Bob Giblin played defensive back for the University of Houston from 1972-1974. He was co-captain of the 1974 team. As a defensive back, he is tied for 8th in career interceptions with 11.

On top of being a solid defensive player, Giblin was also a solid punt returner. He has the 8th best season punt return average at 16.1 yards in 1974.

He was named as an All-American Honorable Mention in both 1973 and 1974.

After his college days, Giblin was selected by the New York Giants in the 4th round of the 1975 NFL Draft. He was the 3rd of 9 Cougars selected that year. He played for the Giants in 1975 and for the Saint Louis Cardinals in 1977.

Today's card is the 1977 Cardinals Team Issue #11. Unfortunately I don't have an image of this card. It is Giblin's only card. It's so rare that I'm able to find Team Issue cards, either for sale or just images of them. And there weren't any other Cougars on 1977 cards that haven't already been featured on this blog.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1978 Topps #285 Riley Odoms

Today's player may be the greatest tight end in University of Houston History, Riley Odoms. Odoms played at UH from 1969-1971. His biggest competition may be Earl Thomas who played from 1968-1970. No wonder the Cougars were such an offensive force in that era with players like that.

In 1971, he led the team in receptions with 45. He had such a good season that he was named Sporting News All-American.

Riley was selected by the Denver Broncos in the 1st round (#5) of the 1972 NFL Draft. #5 is the 2nd highest a tight end has ever been selected.

Odoms played for the Broncos from 1972 to 1983. He was selected for the Pro Bowl 4 times in his career and was twice named All-Pro.

Monday, August 9, 2010

1979 Topps #422 Larry Keller

Larry Keller played football for three years at the University of Houston from 1972-74. In that time, he had 21 quarterback sacks which ties him for 6th in career sacks. Mack Mitchell also played from 1972-74 and had 33 sacks which is 2nd all time, and Bill Stohler played from 1971-72 and had 20 sacks which is 8th. So 3 of the top 10 sack leaders played on the 1972 and 1973 teams. That is a dominant defense.

Keller was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the 9th round of the 1975 NFL Draft.

In 1975, he played in the Canadian Football League for the Hamilton Tiger Cats and in the World Football League for the Memphis Southmen aka the Grizzlies. From 1976-1978, he played for the New York Jets.

I love the piece of trivia on the back of this card. I wonder how many current NFL players are volunteer firemen.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

1980 Topps #298 Charlie Hall

Charlie Hall played linebacker for the University of Houston from 1968-1970. He led the team in tackles in 1969 (99) and was co-captain of the 1970 team.

Hall was named 3rd Team All-American in 1970. He is also tied for 7th in UH career tackles with 345.

Hall was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 3rd round of the 1971 NFL Draft played for the Browns from 1971 to 1980.

Today's card is the 1980 Topps #298. It's very similar to yesterday's card. That's the joy and the frustration of this era of cards. The joy of limited choices is that you can collect EVERY card for a player or of a set. The frustration is that if you don't like the cards, you don't have any alternatives.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

1981 Topps #347 Don Bass

Since the Run and Shoot days, the University of Houston has had some great wide receivers who put up some amazing stats. But prior to that in the Veer days, the Cougars had some great pass catchers even if they didn't all have the big numbers.

One of those guys was tight end Don Bass who played at UH from 1975-77. He was a member of the 1976 team that won UH's first year in the Southwest Conference, won the Cotton Bowl, and finished #4 in the polls.

Although he never had more than 42 receptions in a season (compare that to UH in 2009 when 5 people had 42 or more receptions), he did lead the team in receptions in 1975 (38) and 1977 (42). Bass also led team in punt returns in 1975 and kickoff returns in 1977.

His biggest single game was probably vs TCU on 10/30/1976 where he scored 24 points, good enough for #5 in UH history.

Bass was named 1st Team All-Southwest Conference in 1977 and was an All-American Honorable Mention in 1976 and 1977.

After his college career, Don was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 3rd round of the 1978 NFL Draft. He played for the Bengals from 1978-81 and for the New Orleans Saints in 1982.

Today's card is the 1981 Topps #347. Now we're starting to get to old school football cards. Notice the lack of team logo or stripes on the helmet. From the 1970s to 1982, Topps did not have the rights to use them. So the helmet is airbrushed.

I remember owning plenty of cards from this set when I was younger. That includes the Joe Montana rookie which I still own although the condition isn't that great.

Friday, August 6, 2010

1982 Donruss - UH Golfers

With 1992 Pro Set, we looked at 11 University of Houston golfers. Now with 1982, we have another 7 golfers which shows even more how many great Cougar golfers there are.

All of these cards are from the 1982 Donruss set.

Keith Fergus #21

Ed Fiori #36

Tom Jenkins #54

Bruce Lietzke #4 and #64

John Mahaffey #24 (I love the Cougar red pants and shirt)

Bill Rogers #5

Jim Simons #33